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Fatal vision goggles simulate driving drunk for high school students

Halifax County High School’s prom is Saturday evening, and area police are joining forces to make students aware of the dangers of drunk driving before they hit the road enroute to their big night.

As part of the RISE program, South Boston Police Department, Halifax County Sheriff’s Office, State Police, Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program and Halifax Police Department visited the high school Wednesday warning students about what can happen when a person gets behind the wheel after drinking alcohol.

RISE, an acronym for Responsibility Improving Safety Education, has a mission to provide students with the best prevention tools possible to deal with the issues of underage drinking, drug use, impaired driving and other destructive decisions, according to South Boston Police Captain B. K. Lovelace.

“The RISE program has provided the students at Halifax County High School strategies to avoid drinking and driving. Students are able to participate in simulation activities to encourage them not to drink anddrive,” Principal Albert Randolph said.

According to Lovelace, each year during prom week students are given information about the dangers of impaired driving and afforded an opportunity to wear fatal vision goggles, while driving golf carts provided by Bridgeview Express simulating the drunk driving experience.

Students also have an opportunity to perform the field sobriety test.

On Wednesday’s visit, a VASAP representative presented brochures to students, which provided them with information on alcohol and drug abuse.

Students who planned to attend the prom were allowed to participate in the program.

Some participated with much enthusiasm and were very receptive like 10th grader Krystal Mosley, a first-time participant in the program who said she learned to never drink and drive while helping her better understand the dangers of drinking and driving.

However, Mosley believes only some in her class will heed the message.

Another participating 10th grader Jahshawna Tutt, who participated in the program last year, said, “I learned that it was dangerous to drink and drive because last year when I did it, I wrecked all the cones.”

Tutt thinks her classmates will still drink and drive even after participating in the program, but she has decided she won’t be drinking and driving.

Tenth Grader Ariana Venable agreed with Tutt.

“Drinking and driving kills you,” she said.

And she believes her fellow classmates will take heed remembering what this program has taught them.

“I believe they will make the responsible decision while behind the wheel,” she said.

South Boston Police Chief James W. Binner affirmed Wednesday Halifax County has the most outstanding students.

“We take great pride when dealing with young people; we want to make sure that each young person understands how important it is to make responsible decisions that keep them safe,” he said.